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Libyan official: Clashes between Islamists, rivals in Benghazi kill 31 fighters on both sides

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CAIRO — A Libyan security official says clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi between Islamists and rival fighters loyal to a renegade general have killed 31 on both sides.

The official said early on Tuesday that fierce fighting erupted between Gen. Khalifa Hifter's loyalists and a group of Islamist militias called The Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council late on Monday. Hifter's jets pounded Islamists' positions while militiamen responded with artillery.

The hours-long clashes concentrated around the city's Benina airport.

The official says Hifter's side lost 20 fighters while the militiamen had 11 killed. He says 36 fighters in all were wounded. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to media.

Libya is witnessing its worst spasm of violence since Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011.

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